Why Can’t I Find Out What is Happening to the Family?
When a mandated reporter makes a call, it is common for them to want to know what is happening to the family. In most cases, however, CPS cannot tell you about the specifics in the family’s investigation because a parent’s right to privacy is protected by the same state law that protects your confidentiality when you call.
Some people feel that calling the child abuse hotline will automatically lead to removal of the child by CPS, but that isn’t how the system works. Removing a child from its family is actually our last resort, and most of the time the family is connected to services to help them improve their care of the child to prevent similar things happening in the future. So, once you have called the Hotline, know that CPS is doing everything in the best interest of the child and the goal is to keep families together when possible.
Even though you can’t know the specifics, you can be confident that the CPS Response required by State Law will take place. Actions will be taken to address any immediate danger to the child, investigate the report for actual evidence of abuse or neglect, and provide a plan to reduce the chances of further abuse or neglect.
If you’d like to know more, read What Happens After I Call? on the Do Right By Kids website.
Parent or person legally responsible for a child.
What If I Am Not Sure?
Child Protective Services cannot take action to protect children when suspicions of abuse are not being reported. We recognize that the system can be complicated for mandated reporters and want to help you develop your skills in recognizing and reporting cases in which there is a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect. If you are not sure about whether the situation you have in mind meets the five criteria or how to call in a report —you can call the Child Abuse Hotline for a consultation.
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